thescriptedtangent

I beg to differ

There’s an albatross around your neck

on December 30, 2014

My AP English 4 class recently had a discussion assignment where we had to examine the Romantic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As I was reading it, it seemed so familiar. Soon, I came to the line “Instead of the cross, the Albatross/ About my neck was hung,” and I realized…it alludes to one of the songs from my favorite bands, Bastille!

The Weight of Living, Pt. 1:

Dan Smith, the frontman of Bastille, often draws inspiration from the texts he used to analyze as an English Literature major for his songwriting. He masterfully remixes them into upbeat and catchy tunes that reach the top of the charts worldwide. The messages behind the metaphors are so universal that listeners don’t need to know there was a literal/historical background to them in order to understand and relate to the songs.

In this song, the albatross bird represents a “weight of living” – a burden or consequence that, like the mariner’s deed, stemmed from good intentions. The singer is encouraging the person in the song to “let it go” and “[shrug] off the dust and the memory” and move past his mistake. It’s a reminder that even in the darkest times, even when the cause of your downfall is yourself, there is always hope. 🙂

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